Sulzberger takes the win in Geelong

Matthews retains overall lead

Bernard Sulzberger opened his 2011 account in impressive style in Geelong this evening. The 29-year-old riding for E3/Pure Tasmania out-sprinted Greg Henderson (Team Sky) in a photo finish with his team-mate and brother, Wes, rounding out the podium.

“It's great to get a win today,” said Sulzberger after the finish. “We came here to win stages and we've won two so obviously E3 will be happy as well as Pure Tasmania.”

The circuit around Geelong's waterfront is a tough course and immediately from the outset, the pace in the peloton was high, causing the field to be strung out. Koen De Kort (O2 Networks) and Adam Phelan (Urban) were just some of the riders hammering the pace at the front of the peloton.

Ten minutes into the race the peloton was still together with no one able to break away. In a surprise at the first intermediate sprint, Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) out-kicked Graeme Brown (Urban) to get some valuable points for the green jersey.

Soon after, Baden Cooke (Lowe Farms/Boomaroo), Greg Henderson and Wes and Bernard Sulzberger got a ten metre gap on the peloton. Over the next two laps, this increased to 14 seconds as Leigh Howard (Jayco VIS) and Mark Renshaw (O2 Networks) broke from the bunch to try and bridge across to the leaders.

Their move only lasted a lap and Tom Scully (Garmin Cervelo) was the next to try and get across. His move was unsuccessful and over the coming half a dozen laps, the advantage of the quartet increased to beyond 20 seconds.

Graeme Brown and Robbie McEwen (Jayco VIS) were leading the peloton to try and pick up the pace but their efforts were unrewarded with the break going out beyond 30 seconds. With ten minutes remaining the gap was still hovering around 32 seconds and the break had the peloton in its sights.

With four laps to go, Wes Sulzberger was the first to make a move and he had a slight advantage over his breakaway companions. As the riders got the bell lap, he was still off the front and Cooke got an untimely mechanical, forcing him out of contention for the stage win.

Wes Sulzberger was caught with 300 metres to go as his brother Bernard and Henderson powered to the line with the sprint requiring judges to examine the finish photo. Yellow jersey Michael Matthews out-sprinted Matthew Goss and Allan Davis for fifth place, ensuring he maintained his overall lead.

After several minutes deliberation, Sulzberger was declared the winner, putting him third overall, just four points behind Matthews and ensuring his team will emerge ready to pounce in tomorrow's race.

“Matthew Goss is our sprinter and he's going fast at the moment so myself and Wes will try and bring him to the finish,” said Sulzberger.

Henderson's second place showed he is riding well ahead of the New Zealand road cycling championships, which he leaves for tomorrow before heading to the Tour Down Under. “It was close at the line. I threw everything I could at the line and Bernie was quicker than me tonight,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Wes Sulzberger was thrilled with his brother's win. “It was great. We knew there was going to be an early break. To have both of us there took a lot of pressure off Gossy back in the peloton," he said.

"It made for a pretty good race and I did everything I could to try and get away and make the others work and Bernie won at the finish so it couldn't have gone any better,” he added.

Matthews' sprint for fifth ensured he has a two-point lead over Goss heading into the final stage tomorrow. “When the break got off the front we chilled out a bit. My team was awesome today," said the Rabobank rider. "We managed to defend the jersey and hopefully they can bring it together for a bunch sprint tomorrow and we'll see how I go.”

And Matthews out-sprinting Goss could give him the confidence required to be able to win tomorrow. “It was a huge confidence booster. I crossed the finished line and saw I beat Gossy. He's going well in the sprints at the moment so we'll see what happens tomorrow,” he said.

Gilmore gets the double and extends her race lead

Honda Dream Team's Rochelle Gilmore claimed her second win in the series, out-sprinting Chloe Hosking (TDT/Race/Bike Force) and her team-mate Peta Mullens.

“It's a great feeling to sit back in the peloton and have a relaxed mind and know it's not going to be me who finishes the job off,” Gilmore said after the race.

When racing got underway the pace was furious with Judith Arndt one of the prominent pace makers. Approximately five minutes into the race, a small group got clear with Judith Arndt, Lauren Kitchen (Jayco AIS), Bridget Officer (Vetta Pasta) Emma Mackie (Virgin Blue), Melissa Hoskins and Peta Mullens (Honda Dream Team) just some of the featured riders.

Over the next few laps the group had established a lead of approximately 17 seconds but was reeled in by the peloton soon after. More riders tried to break free, with Bridget Officer part of nearly every move and it wasn't until 2009 Bay Series champion Kirsty Broun (Virgin Blue), Amanda Spratt (Jayco AIS), Peta Mullens and Officer joined forces that the next attempt stayed away.

For most of the race the quartet held the peloton at bay with a handy 15-second lead but when the Honda Dream Team controlled the race, their lead was reduced heavily. On the final lap it was gruppo compatto as Gilmore proved to be too fast yet again.

Gilmore is on track to equal last year's performance of three wins and go back-to-back. She has a 12-point buffer over her team-mate Mullens and the Honda Dream Team have an unassailable lead heading into the final leg of the series.

“If we don't have any bad luck tomorrow I can take the series. I like the course in Williamstown. The finish really suits me with the corner so close to the finish. I feel strong and I don't have tired legs yet so I'm really looking forward to it.”

As has been the case this entire Bay Series, the efforts of the Honda Women's Team didn't go without praise and rightfully so after another win. “The morale in the team is so fantastic. We chose to stay in a house rather than a motel room because it's more social and it's a great atmosphere to come into the race and be happy," said Gilmore.

"These girls are really fresh and young and love racing. It's great for me to be in an environment with young girls that strive to race.”

Genesys get a hatrick in the men's support race

Genesys Wealth Advisers all but pulled its riders out of the race yesterday but after a phone call from race organiser John Trevorrow, the team decided to front up to the race. Steele Von Hoff claimed his second win and gave himself a strong lead in the competition.

Team director, Andrew Christie-Johnston explained the situation to Cyclingnews: “I received a phone call from John Trevorrow this morning asking me what happened. He had spoken to the chief commisaire and told me that the situation had been sorted. He asked if we could race today.

“The boys went on a training ride this morning for a couple of hours as they weren't going to race. They were pretty pissed off last night. When they got back, I asked them if they wanted to ride and they obliged so it wasn't until two hours before the race start that we made the decision to race.”

Trevorrow also explained the situation: “I read the situation on Cyclingnews as I'm an avid reader. I spoke to Andrew and the officials and concluded it was a misunderstanding and they were fine with it.”

The series concludes tomorrow at Williamstown.

Results

Men's stage 3 results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bernie Sulzberger (Aus) E3/Pure Tasmania  
2Greg Henderson (NZl) Team Sky  
3Wes Sulzberger (Aus) E3/Pure Tasmania  
4Baden Cooke (Aus) Lowe Farms/Boomaroo Nurseries  
5Michael Matthews (Aus) Urban  
6Matthew Goss (Aus) E3/Pure Tasmania  
7Allan Davis (Aus) Bikebug.com  
8Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky  
9Mark Renshaw (Aus) O2 Networks  
10Joel Pearson (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers  
Men's general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Urban23 pts
2Matthew Goss (Aus) E3/Pure Tasmania21 
3Bernie Sulzberger (Aus) E3/Pure Tasmania19 
4Greg Henderson (NZl) Team Sky16 
5Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky14 
6Allan Davis (Aus) Bikebug.com14 
7Wes Sulzberger (Aus) E3/Pure Tasmania13 
8Simon Gerrans (Aus) Team Sky10 
9Baden Cooke (Aus) Lowe Farms/Boomaroo Nurseries9 
10Leigh Howard (Aus) Jayco VIS9 
Men's sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Gerrans (Aus) Team Sky11 pts
2Graeme Brown (Aus) Urban10 
3Michael Matthews (Aus) Urban6 
4Wes Sulzberger (Aus) E3/Pure Tasmania6 
Men's team classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1E3/Pure Tasmania53 pts
2Team Sky40 
3Urban38 
4Bikebug.com14 
Women's stage 3 results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rochelle Gilmore (Honda)  
2Chloe Hosking (TDT/Race/BikeForce)  
3Peta Mullens (Honda)  
4Judith Arndt  
5Kirsty Broun (Virgin Blue)  
6Bridget Officer (Vetta Pasta)  
7Jess Allen (Jayco VIS)  
8Melissa Hoskins (Honda)  
9Isabella King (Vetta Pasta)  
10Tiffany Cromwell (Honda)  
Women's general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rochelle Gilmore (Honda)29 pts
2Peta Mullens (Honda)17 
3Kirsty Broun (Virgin Blue)16 
4Judith Arndt15 
5Tiffany Cromwell (Honda)13 
6Chloe Hosking (TDT/Race/BikeForce)10 
7Lauren Kitchen (Jayco AIS)10 
8Belinda Goss (Vetta Pasta)10 
9Nicole Whitburn9 
10Alex Carle (Jayco AIS)8 
11Emma Mackie (Virgin Blue)8 
12Jess Allen (Jayco VIS)8 
Women's sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peta Mullens (Honda)  
2Tiffany Cromwell (Honda)  
3Lauren Kitchen (Jayco AIS)  
Women's team classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Honda  
2Virgin Blue  
3Vetta Pasta  
4Jayco AIS  
Support men stage 3 results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steele Von Hoff12 pts
2Nathan Earle10 
3Nathan Haas8 
4Angus Tobin7 
5Jack Beckinsale6 
6Mitchell Codner5 
7Neil Van Der Ploeg4 
8Evan Hull3 
9Paul Van Der Ploeg2 
10Craig Hutton1 
Support men general classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steele Von Hoff34 pts
2Nathan Earle22 
3Angus Tobin19 
4Mitchell Codner19 
5Nathan Haas16 
6Neil Van Der Ploeg11 
7Jack Beckinsale11 
8Paul Van Der Ploeg9 
9Shaun Lewis6 
10Ryan Standish5 

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